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Tips for a Winning Resume

Job recruiters spend less than 10 seconds reading a candidate’s resume, according to recent studies. That is it. Those few seconds could determine whether or not you get a phone call inviting you for an interview or whether your resume gets thrown in the trash. Below are some tips to help your resume make it to the winning pile.

1. Write a summary of qualifications

Forget the traditional objective at the top of your resume and write a skills summary instead. A few sentences highlighting your experience and skills are all you need to help recruiters see important information about you right off the bat.

2. Highlight accomplishments, not duties

Your resume should highlight your accomplishments, not read as a job description. Describe how you did your job, be specific and use numbers if possible. For example, don’t just say that you “answered calls.” Say you “answered 50 customer calls daily” and “improved customer satisfaction.”

3. Use bullet points

Instead of long paragraphs, use bullet points to describe your skills and accomplishments. Recruiters will be able to scan relevant information quicker and easier.

4. Use key action words

When describing your employment forget words such as responsible for and worked with and use strong action words such as managed, developed or communicated. Use key action words mentioned in the job description of the job you are applying. Most companies use applicant tracking systems to scan resumes for key words. If you don’t include them, you may not be considered. And try not to repeat the action words.

5. Customize your resume

Don’t have a one-size-fits-all resume. Tailor your resume to the job you are applying. Be sure to use key action words mentioned in the job description and highlight relevant skills and accomplishments. Having one resume is only appropriate if you are applying for only one specific job.

6. Keep it simple; keep it professional

A resume is not an avenue for your artistic side…unless you are applying for a creative position. Keep your resume simple; one to two pages should be the maximum. Use easy to read and more widely used fonts such as Arial or Calibri. Use bold lettering appropriately as section headers or to separate job titles from companies where you were employed. Avoid italics and leave plenty of white space. Cramming too much information in one page will not compel recruiters to read your resume. And use a professional email address on your resume. If your only email is, use a free email engine to create a new one. Preferably one that includes your name.

7. Proofread

Nothing will get your resume in the trash faster than a typo. Read and reread your resume to ensure everything is spelled correctly and your grammar is correct. Spell Check will not catch every error. Also have a professional read it over. Resources and assistance are available at local community agencies or your Career Services Department.

Resume writing may seem like a daunting task, but there are a lot of available resources, both in person and online to help you. Asher College’s career services classes offer excellent instruction on resume writing and Asher staff can help offer support and assistance. Whether you are writing your first resume or fixing an existing one, all you have to do is ask and help is always available. For more information on Asher College, visit their website or one of their convenient locations.